Religion Past and Present

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Bet Din
(181 words)

[German Version]

(“House of Judgment”), the term used in rabbinic sources for a Jewish court of law. This legal institution has undergone many changes throughout Jewish history, which reflect social, cultural, and religious trends within Jewish society. Moses served as a magistrate and later appointed judges in a hierarchical system. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 ce, the bet din of Yohanan ben Zakkai in Jabneh became a cultural and political center, succeeding the great Sanhedrin. In the Middle Ages, the bet din became one of the strongholds of Jewish autonomy…

Cite this page
Caplan, Kimmy, “Bet Din”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 24 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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